Balsam Fir

balsam fir

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)

Next to the spruces, the balsam fir is the most common of our softwoods, however, the balsam woolly aphid is rapidly killing off large areas. The tree is usually from 40 to 60 feet high and from 8 inches to 16 inches in diameter. The crown is slender and spire shaped. The branches, extending down to the ground in young trees, come out from the stem in regular whorls. The bark on all but the old trees is very thin, smooth, and conspicuously marked with raised blisters containing balsam. The tree is found in pure stands also mixed with white, red and black spruce, tamarack, aspens and white birch. It is found on a variety of sites but does best on a moist, well-drained loam.